Grand Canyon National Park tourism creates $454 million in economic benefit

Report shows visitor spending supports 6,010 jobs in surrounding communities

A Pollen Trail dancer performs an eagle dance for Grand Canyon visitors. In 2012, visitors spent $454 million in neighbouring communities in turn supporting 6,010 local jobs. Ryan Williams/WGCN<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

A Pollen Trail dancer performs an eagle dance for Grand Canyon visitors. In 2012, visitors spent $454 million in neighbouring communities in turn supporting 6,010 local jobs. Ryan Williams/WGCN<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - In 2012, the Grand Canyon National Park's more than 4.4 million visitors spent $454 million in nearby communities. The spending supported 6,010 local jobs according to a new National Park Service (NPS) report.

"Grand Canyon is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides, and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy- returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service- and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."

U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and NPS's Lynne Koontz conducted the peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report, 39 percent of visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, 27 percent goes toward hotels, motels, and B&Bs, and 20 percent rounds out other amusement and recreation jobs.

The report, which includes information about visitor spending at individual parks and by state, is available from www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.

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